(CTN News) – As it expands its ground invasion in Gaza, Israel is apparently employing a horrible media propaganda approach by inserting gory pro-Israel ads into children’s video games, killing over 8,000 Palestinians, including over 3,000 children, in air raids.
As such content is exposed to young players, this unique technique has generated concerns. Maria Julia Cassis, a mother from northern London, said that her 6-year-old son was playing a puzzle game on his Android phone when he came across a distressing advertisement.
The poster featured concerned Israeli families and Hamas gunmen, as well as a message from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs that stated, “WE WILL MAKE SURE THAT THOSE WHO HARM US PAY A HEAVY PRICE.”
Cassis quickly uninstalled the game because her kid found the content profoundly disturbing.
This is not a unique event; Reuters has discovered at least five comparable cases across Europe in which players, including many youngsters, were greeted with similar pro-Israel ads depicting missile launches, explosions, and masked assailants.
Adverts even infiltrated popular games like Rovio’s Angry Birds
These adverts even infiltrated popular games like Rovio’s “Angry Birds,” causing player displeasure and parental concerns. The maker of “Angry Birds,” Rovio, stated that these unpleasant adverts had inadvertently made their way into their game and were being manually blocked.
The corporation refused to say which of its advertising partners was responsible for these advertisements. David Saranga, the chief of digital at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, admitted that the video in question was a government-sponsored commercial. He stated, however, that he had no idea how it ended up in numerous games.
This film is part of a bigger lobbying effort launched by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, which has spent $1.5 million on web commercials since the Gaza War began on October 7th, following Hamas’s attack on southern Israel. Saranga underlined the campaign’s graphic character, which aims to raise global awareness of the situation in Israel.
By contacting 43 advertising organizations labeled as “third-party data partners” on Rovio’s website, Reuters attempted to determine the source of these commercials. Only 12 of these partners responded, including Amazon, Index Exchange, and Pinterest, denying any participation in the advertisement’s placement.
Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has paid advertising companies
According to Saranga, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has paid advertising companies like Taboola, Outbrain, Google, and X (previously Twitter). Nonetheless, Taboola and Outbrain both distanced themselves from the game ads. Except for several Arabic-language videos by Palestine TV, Reuters found no evidence of a comparable Palestinian digital advertising campaign.
This contentious method has created ethical and legal questions, particularly given the audience’s age when exposed to such graphic information. While advertising rules differ by country, authorities typically advise prudent ad targeting away from children under the age of 18.
The Advertising Standards Authority regulates advertising efforts in the United Kingdom, where Maria Julia Cassis and her son live, highlighting the importance of protecting youngsters from promotions with graphic material.
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